Channel: The Baba Ali Show
Special guest Walid Darab joins Baba Ali in discussing: how to start your own podcast finding guests, equipment needed, etc… what inspired him to begin the process
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Bobby Lee show, Episode 15 starting a podcast, this podcast has been brought to you by half our dean.com and Muslim marriage website designed for those who want to find that other half privately because the only people that should know you're looking to get married or people who are looking to get married. Try half our Deen today. When I first started my YouTube videos back in June 2006. I searched for days and couldn't find a one listen video blogger, I kind of had to learn the hard way about how this whole thing worked. Everything from using the equipment to figuring out the format of the show, I had my fair share of challenges and it was a huge learning experience. Fast forward
seven years. It's like deja vu as I'm trying to figure out how this whole podcasting works. But this time around, things are a bit different because there's some amazing Muslim podcasters out there and today's guest is one of those guys in fact he has a very successful show and you're gonna hear all about it and how to start your own podcast inshallah. See you on the other side. Let's get this thing going.
Cultural Muslims have confused the masses, and speakers are forced to be politically correct. wises
Hey, man, why you're serious. This is just a podcast.
Just a few months ago, I didn't know much about podcasting, but something about it intrigued me. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with making YouTube videos verbally, but they do have their limitations. For one, the audience has a real short attention span. A six minute video for some people feels like a three hour Bollywood movie. But for people who listen to podcasts is completely different. See on YouTube, you're trying to make a video that has a message and you're competing with a cat playing the piano. It's really hard sometimes. But the podcasting audience is like totally different. They're basically people on the go. listeners are often subscribed to many
podcasts, not to just the one you're listening to. And they often are listening to them when they're driving, going to work or even walking. You can't really watch YouTube videos when you're driving unless of course you're practicing to be a crash test. Nevertheless, podcasting is still something fairly new to most most of us, but it's starting to spread like wildfire. In fact, when I started making my podcasts, I told people to subscribe to them. They didn't know how to even subscribe to them until I had to show it to them on their own phone. Yes, the app is on your phone. So hopefully if you're listening to this right now you are listening to on your computer. You probably have your
phone out and you're wondering has it on my phone? Yes, it does. If you're on iPhones, look for the purple icon that says the word podcasts if you're on Samsung check for podcast addict is a free podcast app and you can download all kinds of podcasts almost all for free, including this one. Now some of you are listening to his podcast and you're going to be the future podcasters of the next generation. You may be the next Baba Ali and you don't even know it. Today's guests wallet darab is the founder of for the greed for L podcast which has over 120 episodes. His podcast provides a platform for independent journalists, authors, musicians and clinical experts to spread knowledge
along with their personal stories. Most recently, his podcast has suppressed 600,000 total downloads, making it one of the most successful Muslim podcasts on iTunes. Welcome to the Bob Marley show. Assalamu Aleikum Wa Alaikum wa Salaam you have started an amazing podcast over 124 episodes and counting. And this is when we're actually recording this podcast. So by the time this podcast comes out, you probably have even more episodes out there. So tell me when you first started this whole thing? Did you think you ever reached this many episodes? Absolutely not. Absolutely. No chance. I didn't think I would go past 25.
So what made you want to start doing a podcast? Well, I'm gonna start from the very beginning. Just give you a little background that my best friend since high school and I we were in the music business briefly for a couple years. So we had all this music equipment laying around. And once we stopped music, business music business, of course, around the year 2005 2006 started to tank and nobody was buying CDs or anything. We had all these equipment, the microphone, the compressors, limiters, all these different stuff that people use in their MUSIC Studios. And my friend, he told me out of the blue one time he said, Hey, why don't you start a podcast and me the way I am is if
you give me an idea, or some type of new thing that I have, you know, no knowledge about or never done before. I quickly shut it down. I think of the glass of like half empty. I'm like man who's gonna listen to it. You know, I don't got the time. What am I gonna say, you know, and he said, trusting you know, you have a lot of say, just put a mic in front of you and just start talking. That's it. All right. So I got we already had a microphone.
He came over, we set everything up. And it was around those a little bit before Thanksgiving because I the first episode I did was Dan's giving of 2013, I think. And I just ranted, you know, I just went on a rant about Thanksgiving, and this and that and all that. And so I mean, that's how it started. Did you know what your first episode is going to be about? No, not at all.
So we started talking about Valentine's Day. And I said, You know what, Valentine's Day is stupid. So I call it stupid Valentine's Day. And that was episode one.
So was this like, basically the type of conversations you would have with your friend? Yes. And then you like this, put a microphone on us, and then send it out there. Because often times with my friends, we have some very, very interesting conversations, but it never leaves the room because there's no microphone to capture it and then spread across the world. So you guys recorded this and made it into a podcast? Is that correct? Yeah, yeah. And well, the thing is, like, we would go out to eat or whatever, you know, just to the local deli, or whatever. And then we would just sit down, he and I would just just start talking about whatever the topic was, whether it was bullish, or
politics or whatever, you know, and I would just start going off, he's like, exactly, this needs to be on a podcast, you know, and I'm like, What is a podcast? What is that? But yeah, that's that's how it started out. Wow. What made you continue doing these podcasts? I mean, did you get a big strong reaction initially? Well, in the beginning, it took a while to, quote unquote, take off in terms of the popularity and the number of downloads, etc. But it felt like, okay, there will be someone who will listen to it, you get what I'm saying. Because when I first started out, it was just me staring into the mic. And I don't even want to go listen to my old podcast, because I'll
cringe, you know, but I remember turning off the lights because I didn't want to see anything, I don't want to be distracted. And then that bugged me. So I turned the lights on, like I would just a mess. You know, you remind me of my YouTube videos. When I first started, I cringe when I go look like what were they doing? What was wrong with my life? someone likes, it makes me look yellow. Somebody makes me the green? Some of them I'm black, you're white? I mean, how do you get to black and white, like, this was so weird. I'm like, what was wrong with me, and but yet, the people didn't really care that much. They didn't care. You know what it was, it was content. And that's why I see
this very unique about your podcast. And for those who are not familiar with it, the griefer podcast has a wide variety, as I said, in my introduction, a wide variety of guests, they have everything from independent journalists, to authors, to musicians, to clinical experts, and it's just such a variety of amazing guests. And I keep saying it over and over again, because it's just so unique. Did you ever think that you're gonna be able to bring all these people on to that podcast? it? Well, it was like a double edged sword or better, like a stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because at one point, in the beginning, I was doing all these solo episodes, I'll just think about something
and just, you know, make a little record a little podcast about it, whether it's five minutes, or 10 minutes, or whatever. And then I said, you know, how about, I get a hold of some authors, because there's so many books I like to read, and I have read, I want to reach out to them and see if they would come on. And that's another way to get up to 100 episodes, you can't just keep doing, you know, unless you're like, you know, Superman or whatever, which I'm not, but I needed a whole variety of guests and topics. So it was definitely in the beginning. That's why I didn't see it going past episode 25, you know, because I'm, like, you know, how many topics Can I think of, and
then I started saying, you know, my friend also suggests I want to get some authors, I get some comedians, anybody who just interests me, and that's why in order to do 100 episodes, you better have a wide variety of guests. Otherwise, it'll be very, very hard to maintain that weekly, you know, publishing of an episode, you know, yeah, a comedy, the same boat you are. And I'm thinking like, maybe if I hit 20 episodes, I'm already like, this will be like, Episode 15. If I hit 20, that's a success. I can't even imagine how I'm going to hit 100 I don't know how you did it, you passed 100 you like 124? I'm like, if I hit 20, that's a major accomplishment. Because I'm like, how
many people do I know? It's so interesting. And that's my question is like, how did you get in touch with these very unique people? And for those who haven't seen it, he has a wide variety of different people. I mean, when you contact these people, do you think that they're automatically going to respond and get on? Yeah, absolutely not, you know, I send the email out, or I contact them via their Facebook page, or however I can. And then I just pretty much quote unquote, cross my fingers and, you know, see what happens. And the first I'm sure you probably even encounter this too, but uh, as you email guests, potential guests, and you're like, you know what, I hope they reply so let
me just send the email and you send it and then a day later Two days later, whatever you get that response back that feeling of even opening up that email because either it's gonna say yes or no right? So that to me is like you know, my heart starts to beat I'm like, should I should I open it up on my phone or the computer shall my wife open it up?
It sounds like you apply for a college and now you're about to see if you got it or not. Exactly, exactly. But but it's a positive feeling because whether they say no or you know, I can't do it now. My my my schedule is booked or whatever.
It's still a correspondence, you know, they still replied, and I still have their email and I'll reach out to them later, you know, and ask. So that's so cool. So I have to ask you of all the guests you had, which one was the one that you found was the most interesting story? Oh, I catch you off guard. Yeah, my mental Rolodex of 100 guests, you know, anything that comes in mind that one of the podcasts that you remember specifically that like, wow, that was a very unique episode I did. I had Sami Yusuf on. And I had him on twice, actually. And his story is, to me just amazing, just a natural gift from from music, you know, and how he how he quickly picked things up and how humble he
is, you know, did you think he's gonna respond to you as a big name as he is? No, no, I did. Yeah, no, I I did in fact, he was very, very humble and gracious enough to come on. And that actually shocked me there was a sister in Indonesia, she's she was the equivalent of American got talent to one of these shows and music shows. Yeah, but the Indonesian version, and she was also an actress in Indonesia. And her name is dewy Sandra. And she's huge. Like on Twitter, she has over a million followers. She just huge in Indonesia. And some of my listeners kept tweeting me and then get her on, get her on, because now she's a straight up hijabi she doesn't do that stuff anymore. And
everything she does is like promoting the hijab, etc. So I found that very, very interesting. So I had her on that she talked beautiful English, I thought that would have some type of like, you know, a hard time understanding accents. Oh, but she was amazing. Her English was amazing. And her story was absolutely beautiful. Again, I mean, over 100 I started to forget some, you know, it's like, sometimes people get back to Lego man, I like Episode 47. I'm like, Who was that?
I gotta go look it up. So you know, what, this whole podcasting? What do you think is the importance of getting into podcasting? I mean, I'm sure there's a lot of people who are listening, and like, wow, I might give this a shot. Tell the people who are listening our audience, what's the importance of getting into podcasting? Oh, man, I think is extremely important, especially, you know, 2015, the, the technology that we have, I mean, you can record a podcast on your iPhone, you know, just recording it, and then, you know, uploading it onto your computer, and publishing it that way, the importance is huge, because and people who have listened to my podcast before me, do my rants,
whatever, I'm not that big of a fan of mainstream media, and how they've lied to promote wars and stuff like that. And I also see that the big, big names like Glenn Beck, he has his own podcast, he has his own radio show, you know, people are leaving, even radio companies like NPR and radio lab and all these other people, you see, you study them, they have been part of the radio business. And now they branch off to go into podcasting, because that's where the next critical, big thing is, because now you don't have to worry about all I gotta wait for this stupid song to finish until I get to the next song, you know, for example, a radio, you just like cherry pick whatever podcast you
want to whatever episode you want to listen to, you can fast forward, whatever is up is up to the user, you know, so the user has more control of what they want to listen to. I think it's huge, especially for Muslims to get into that, because when I first started out, I saw these podcasts on iTunes, and there were a lot of them were related to like, you know, hood buzz, or Tajweed programs or whatever, which, I mean, I personally don't want to listen to that driving to work, I just want to kind of listen to something I can probably relate more to, you know, not to knock them, but that's just me. And I said, You know, I got it, I gotta, you know, get into this and do this thing.
Like you were saying earlier, there's wide range of topics, because if you look at the non Muslim, who are, you know, the non Islamic podcasts or whatever, they're all types of topics, from history, science, you know, comedy, everything and anything, you know, so I wanted to kind of contribute to that aspect of it, but under the banner of a Muslim hosted podcast, you know, I mean, and it is what we lack right now, really, because even though there's some Muslim podcasters out there, there just isn't enough. And even if we get like a handful more people to join, there's still a lot more because there's so many hours to fill in within a week that people are driving, people are at the
gym, people are walking around, and they want to fill that up with important content. And I think we have a lot more podcasters out there, Muslim podcasters, who are going to give that important information, not just talking nonsense, but using this tool to give important information to each other. And if those people who are listening right now, I'm going to ask a question on their behalf. Does it cost a lot of money to get into this podcasting thing? Or do you need any prior experience to do it? No, not at all. I mean, I mean, yes, I did say that I was in the music business, but my friend was the one who was making the music and I was just managing, I had no experience. I don't
know how to play any instruments. I don't know how to record anything. He In fact, came up and set things up. But my setup is a little bit more complicated. And you can like I said, just buy those microphones like clipped to your shirt or whatever. And connect that into your phone and record straight into your phone, you know, or a little mini hand recorders. And, I mean, you see these YouTubers, Muslim youtubers or Muslim people who are doing Instagram and stuff like that. I mean, they are savvy with their tech savvy, you know, and
The amount of money they spend on let's say, a video recorder or a laptop, a MacBook Pro, whatever, it's a fraction fraction of the college is to buy a handheld recorder, you know, the tools are out there. And I myself I just a few months ago had no idea how to make a podcast I'm this is January of 2015. By February, I had my first episode out and since then I've had about 14 episodes to this date of doing this 15th episode. So if I can learn I have no background in this. I think anyone coloring you yourself mentioning that you didn't understand podcast until you got into it. And now that you're doing it, you understand it. And it doesn't take that much learning curve, does it? No, not
at all. One thing I would say is that in the beginning, I was I mean, I can't even count how many times I recorded an episode. And then I just deleted the whole thing because I didn't like it. I mean, over and over and days and I'll get frustrated and angry. And I'm married, I have two kids. So it's like, you know, I have to I step out of the room. And it's like, you got to put a smile on and completely forget that you just wasted an hour or two hours or whatever. But my my advice or tip is, look for the long term. And just if as long as you're okay with it, and it doesn't need to be perfect publish it, because like you said, people don't really care as long as the content is there.
And I actually believe that a lot of Muslims, especially living in America and Europe, their sense of humor is on point, you know, their their sense of knowledge in terms of whether it's politics, or history or science, whatever, they're very informed people, they're not dumb, you know, and they have a voice it just that if you know, they get that voice space where other people can listen around the world, then they'll be surprised at how many people will start listening. Exactly. And I think you never know until you try. If I stop. Every time I thought something's not gonna work, I would never gone to a point. And today, there's a lot of people around me who always say, Oh, I
don't think that's gonna work. I don't think it's gonna work. Even yourself could be the person that could be your own worst enemy that can put you on pause. But if you have to break through that barrier and give everything a shot, and you did, and when you thought you're going to hit 2030 episodes, you're over 120, it shows you that only Allah subhanaw taala knows how successful you can be because he's the one that decides the success. So with that said, How long does it take to produce a podcast from start to finish? Oh, I because I'm thinking a lot of people are interested in that question, because they Okay, sure. I'm going to try this podcasting. But how much time should I
be realistically putting aside to try to make one of these guys, because you're sure it sounds like oh, we just record for 20 minutes, it takes 20 minutes to put together. But it takes a little bit more time than that. Yeah, well, I can get into some of the technicalities, in case somebody's listening. And they want to get into that I don't want to just say some Catholic, generic, you know, reply. But in the beginning, I was debating whether I should have like Intro music and some type of recording in terms of the intro. And I decided against that, because I just wanted to pretty much get into it. I might end up not liking, like the music or whatever, you know, the intro sound or
whatever, some I don't want to change it up later. So I was like, You know what, I'm just going to do like a verbal, you know, hey, you're listening to the group on podcasts and just get into it, you know. So that's one thing I decided, and that also shortens the time of production. And another thing is that, in the beginning, I recorded everything on one track. If anybody's listening they familiar with audacity is a free recording software. Yep, I use that I use the same thing. It's fantastic. And the only negative thing about that, for me was when I'm doing a Skype interview, or whatever, everything was coming in on one sound or one track. And it was hard to mix each one of
those. And again, my friend who was into music or music production, he advised that I should get GarageBand. And that way, I can split my vocals and then the guest vocals into two, you know, so then when I email him to files, he has two separate vocals that he can mix specifically to that, because sometimes, I'm sure you're probably aware, even though you only have like 14 episodes that sometimes you call people on Skype, and the audio quality is horrible. You're like, Oh my god, I mean, how am I gonna, you know, how am I gonna tell him this or etc. But, I mean, there are episodes that I've done that but uh, you know, I'll send it to my friend and he's like, this is complete
trash. And how am I gonna fix this, I'm like, just do the best you can. So I have GarageBand. And I've split the track. So that makes it easier. And then my outro is pretty much a simple thing. I don't have any music, anything after that. So the whole process from the time I hit record with the guest, until I'm actually publish it. I would say, let's save as an hour podcast, I'll probably put another 30 minutes on top of that. So like an hour and a half. See that's very feasible. And I think a lot of people can do that. Compare that to making a like a 30 minute video that can take a long time. It can take countless hours, it can take up to a week of your own time just to make a quality
30 minute video but with a podcast just because audio you don't have to worry about lights. You don't have to worry about camera. You don't have to worry about having a certain location because as long as you have the microphone and you have the right equipment, you can be mobile
with cameras it's not as easy because if you have a certain background or a certain setup, you can just move it to wherever you want to move it. When I did my ba ba the videos, they're all done in my daughter's room, I couldn't move my daughter's room to wherever I wanted, I can take those lights with me go anywhere I want to because it actually require a crew of people. But with the podcast, you'll need a crew of people all the time you can get away with it with just by yourself, which makes it really cool. I'm gonna share something with the audience of some of the places I went to, to learn about how to do podcasts and I'll share these in my links as well. One of them was called
Pat's complete step by step podcasting tutorial that's from Smart Passive Income Comm. I'll put a link there inshallah as well shows you how to do a podcast from A to Z. There's another guy called income school comm so he showed everything from A to Z of equipment to get as far as sounds, you guys hear my sounds, there's sounds there's a website called pond five p o and D, the number five calm you can go and purchase sounds there and for like voiceover like the voiceover you heard from my introduction, you can get that from fiverr.com that's where you pay five bucks to different people and you do all kinds of random stuff, including doing voiceovers which is really cool. And my
custom audio that jingle that the Bubba Lee is the Papa Alicia Yeah, that's not me singing it's actually a smile and Mashallah, he's amazing. I'll probably put a link for him as well. So there's a lot of links inshallah, in this podcast episode, but the most important thing that you guys should be listening to is the greed for Ill link because that link is the link that I found you. And I want to share a short story about that because when I started my YouTube videos, as I mentioned introduction, I couldn't go to anyone and just tap on their shows. How do you guys do this? Because there wasn't anyone doing Muslim video blogging on YouTube, I was the first person but when getting
on here, I was able to contact different people and one of the people actually contacted was brother will lead our guest today. And he shared some very, very valuable advice. I asked him all kinds of questions and Mashallah, you're very, very humble brother, Mashallah. You're amazing, man. It's a true inspiration. Because a lot of people they think that Okay, I'm gonna stop it, Episode 20. And then we realize a brother who's in the same shoes as you went past that barrier, it kind of motivates you to try to continue doing this weekly podcast because you're the only other brother that I know that's doing a weekly podcast, it's so hard that even though there was a really, really
cool, then of them that I know that do weekly. It's so hard to do it. I mean, what do you do the weekends that you're sick, or the weekends you're tired or so tell us our future? broadcasters are listening advice on what they can do to prepare for those types of situations? Well, if you're married, you have to set your wife down and say, listen,
like you're not gonna be seeing not Well, lucky for me, my wife helps me out. She I mean, she does say that I can't have you know, more than four interviews a month. So that that's four episodes a month, right? So one a week. But there are times where, for example, like I went on a trip last week, so I was gone the whole week. So the week before that, I did actually two interviews. So I scheduled two and I get them prepared. And then on that Sunday, or whatever they just published by themselves. So if you're if you're single, and you haven't made, you know, I mean, and in terms of publishing podcasts, you can just start recording whenever you want, you know, at the same time, I
don't want to promote that you should overburden yourself or mentally get tired because and honestly, because if you get into something with a wholehearted enthusiasm, you can also flip back complete opposite I forget this and stop. The whole point is consistency. And the way I do it is now that my wife sees the the, for example, the number of downloads, or the emails that we get every email, I get somebody that, you know, complements what I'm doing, or whatever I forward it to her I afforded to her I say because she's my partner. I mean, she is I mean, if she's not watching the kids, while while I'm here, for example, talking to you, I mean, you know, I wouldn't be able to do
this at all, you know, so I respect you know, when I, when I get a email or whatever I forwarded through I said, Listen, you know, is because of you that I'm pretty much getting this email, because you allow me by watching the kids and doing you know that so I can go on an hour or two hours, whatever, and do this episode, and I acknowledge them. And if I'm sick or whatever, then there has been weeks, there have been weeks where I just, I didn't do it. I mean, then a week later, then I'll publish to you know, to kind of get back up to date. But as of I think the past couple months, my home lodge has been cranking them out I mean, I think I'm booked already until mid or end of May
already. So it's that's awesome, bro. You know, for me, I had to do it in a different way because hamdulillah I'm very similar situation as you like my wife is very very supportive. I mean, there is no Baba Ali without Molly.
Molly, Molly, but Molly is the one that is a support system that everyone sees the face of Baba Ali, but Behind every successful man is a very, very supportive wife because without that backbone, men can't be what they are. 100 loss upon. Allah has made that balance of men and women that they are support for one another, both the man for the woman and when both the woman for the man and for my episodes.
Learning from my YouTube videos, I learned that listen, doesn't mean weeks, I'm not gonna feel like it works, I'm gonna feel burned out because I did five episodes in a row. And then a few weeks, I'm sick, like I lost my voice one week. So what am I gonna do to prepare for those weeks? And what about if I'm traveling, so what I do is I record three or four episodes, and then I have them in my backup sitting there ready. So if I want to go right now I have the next four episodes, three episodes, inshallah ready to go. So I don't have to do anything for next three weeks, when I wish I'd be three episodes ahead of time. So if something does come up, like I did, just recently, I did
get sick, I don't have to be there worried. So for those people who are listening, if you do have that free time, and you realize that Wait a second, my wife is visiting the in laws, right? She's visiting her mom or her dad, and have a one week of free time, you better crank out three or four extra episodes, because you may not get that free time, because two weeks later, she wants to go on a trip with you. And you can't do podcasts on a trip unless you'd like to hear a lecture from your wife who says and you get yourself in trouble. So absolutely. Absolutely. Absolutely. I absolutely agree. Absolutely agree. And again, like if you're single, then you know, you can do it. And another
thing I wanted to say was because I've had a lot of authors on the podcast, yeah. And if somebody is out there, and they want to start a podcast, and or maybe they read a book, they're like, you know what I want to start one, I want to have this author as the first guest or whatever. One, one tip I have is I have I mean, I don't even know how many books I have in my bookshelf that I haven't read yet. And some that I've already read, and I've had the guests on, but the books I've gotten have been straight from the publisher. So if you have a podcast and you start out and you might not have that many downloads or listeners or whatever, you build that up a little bit, and then you get some
type of base and then you can contact the publishers and say, Hey, you know, I have you know, these are my numbers. I would like a copy a review copy of this, and they will send it to you. I've had I've gotten so many books just pretty much review copies I don't have to pay for you know, this so cool. Another incentive to start your own podcast? Absolutely. Yeah, I have. I've had so many books where books are on top of the bookshelf, you know, and my wife is like, you know, we have to start giving this away, but it's kind of hard to let go. or open a library. Oh, yeah, exactly. Exactly. So with all this T's and we've been telling everybody about your podcasts greed for l can you please
give us information of where we can find it and tell my audience how they can find you please? Well, you're a wonderful audience can find the podcast on iTunes, you just go to iTunes and search green for Elm podcast is there. I'm also on Stitcher that's an app that people I think they use for Android but I haven't had that much popularity with that one. Also if you go to green for elm.com You can find all episodes there and then there's the episode link at the top banner that has a player there and that's pretty much where you can find them on the website greed forum.com. And also items do you have a Twitter or Facebook we can reach you at as well? Yeah, Twitter and Facebook ad
greed for Elm. Excellent. And with that said, I'd like to thank my guests and all the listeners who've been listening to the entire podcast from beginning to end hamdulillah you I've been very very loyal and very, very patient and I hope inshallah those who have been listened to this podcast will be inspired to start your own podcast with some content that's interesting as hello and that's going to make a difference in people's lives because people like will lead took that leap and you show up you do as well. It can change a lot of things you may not see the fruits of your efforts in this dunya but inshallah you'll see it in the hereafter make sure you go to Baba ali.com for all the
links we discuss here including the link for greed for L podcast. It is amazing. I do listen to it. I have told friends about it. They listened to it and shall check it out. This is Bob Ali reminding you just in case you forgot Assalamu alaikum